Cattleya Orchid Facts
- Firstly, the term Cattleya Orchid serves as the collective common name for a genus containing 113 gorgeous species of orchids. While this sounds like quite a lot, comparatively, it actually isn’t. That’s because more than 26,000 known species of orchids exist around the world.
- But, the first discovery of this group by non-native individuals happened in relatively recent times. That’s because that event only occurred in 1817, in Brazil. Consequently, researchers later took samples of the gorgeous flower to Glasgow for identification and further study.
- Additionally, the Cattleya Orchid actually received its name in honor of William Cattleya. He represented a distinguished and highly respected a British horticulturist of the time. He also became the first individual to successfully grow the plant outside of its native habitat.
- Finally, following this single shipment for research, a most unfortunate incident occurred. In point of fact, outsiders did not see the incredible species again for another 70 years. This occurred due to erroneous information pertaining to the precise location of its discovery.
Cattleya Orchid Physical Description
Most notably, and quite understandably, the Cattleya Orchid remains best known for one particular feature. That’s the fact of its producing relatively large, brilliantly colored blooms. Furthermore, the size of the blooms also varies greatly by species. However, these blossoms typically range in size from 2-6 in (5-15 cm) across.
In addition, the colors of the various individual species also include almost every color of the rainbow. But, that extremely impressive range does exclude the colors of black and a few shades of blue. Furthermore, the majority of breeds also produce flowers with the trait of having a total of only three narrow sepals.
In addition, the breathtaking Cattleya Orchid also typically produces three broad petals. Also, one of these highly usually features forms the conspicuous lip for which the plants remain well known. Finally, a single individual plant can sometimes display anywhere from 1-10 of the visually stunning flowers.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Angiosperms
- Class: Monocots
- Order: Asparagales
- Family: Orchidaceae
- Genus: Cattleya
Cattleya Orchid Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
To no great surprise to those who encounter it, the stunning Cattleya Orchid remains a purely tropical group of species. In fact, the genus generally occurs in a range extending from Argentina to Costa Rica, in South America. The various types most commonly grow in areas of bright sunlight, with partial shading.
But the plants have another secret with which to amaze us. That holds true because the color of the leaves also easily varies, based on conditions. This actually varies according to the amount of sunlight the plants receive. Under optimum conditions of lighting, however, the leaves develop an apple green color.
Finally, the marvelous Cattleya Orchid does not bloom without ample sunlight. It also generally prefers soil types with a comparatively high moisture content, but with ample drainage. The plant also reproduces through the production of pseudobulbs. In point of fact, some species even bloom twice per year.